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Front Page » February 5, 2013 » Opinion » Using a big shovel to break up the fight
Published 539 days ago

Using a big shovel to break up the fight


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

The other day I was cleaning my dog kennels and I had some of the dogs out in the dog yard running around while I did it.

Siberian Huskies are not usually aggressive dogs, but are generally sweet and loving even with each other. But once in a while a fight will break out.

Now I know some pairs of dogs in my kennel that I can't put together on my sled team. They can't run side by side, because they will work against each other and then get into a fight over their habits.

But it always seems there are some dogs that don't like each other, no matter what I do. I have to be careful about who I put out in the dog yard together. Sometimes too, it seems while they are much like two year olds in their thinking, they have long memories as well.

So on that day, I had all the boys out, of which there are four. Two are a father son team, one is my oldest dog (I checked it out early in the season, and he did his last run recently because he can no longer keep up, so he is now retired at 14) and the other dog I purchased a few years ago from a musher in Wyoming. That Wyoming born dog (Dodge) is the biggest of the boys, and he is also the most aggressive.

Well over by the water trough in the kennel while I was shoveling I heard a commotion. Dodge was on top of Chubb (the father in the father son team) and was biting him. To make it worse Chubb's son (Rocko) was nipping at Dodges ears.

I ran out of the kennel I was cleaning to break up the fight.

When you own a lot of dogs there is something you learn very early in your canine training by the school of hard knocks. You never reach in and try to grab dogs when they are in a tiff, because inevitably you will get a painful bite. What you need to do is get something between them such as a large piece of plywood or a tool such as a large flat shovel. I happened to have one of the latter in my hand. I started to push my way in and with enough force that there was a break in the action and I was able to get the shovel between their two faces. I grabbed Dodge by the collar and picked him up and Chubb ran off. However Rocko kept biting Dodge in the rear end as I took the bigger dog to his kennel. It was a fight keeping them from getting into it.

Later I let Dodge out again and watched. Whatever the spark that started the fight, was apparently gone. Dodge and Chubb played like they were old friends. But I still had to keep an eye on them.

Anyway the jist of it is that when two dogs are fighting, it is good to have a big shovel to put in between them.

The same is true of people. Sometimes when they are fighting, they need some space between them to get back in balance. Unfortunately we can't use a big shovel for that as much as we would like to.

I think that is what our United States Congress needs. They need a guy with a big shovel standing over them so they can be directed to the right kennel and then allowed to cool off and think about what is best for the collective good, not just for their side of things.

The fact is, we the people are that big guy. We need to make our views heard, putting these people who represent us in place like the big shovel in my kennel does with the dogs.

When we are complacent and apathetic, and we don't watch what is going on in the yard, they will tear each other part creating a mess that will be costly and unsatisfying in every way.

I can't afford the vet bills a fight can cause in my kennel. We as a people can't afford a languishing government that we have had for many years either.

It's up to us to use our power of persuasion to stop this fighting and gridlock. I know compromise is a dirty word in some people's book, it is still the way things get done.

The only thing I regret is that the big shovel we have is not covered with doggy doo-doo. They might listen more that way.

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